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In a new interview with Variety about his debut solo album, ‘Jack In The Box’, J-Hope was asked about BTS’ announcement in June that they were planning to “take time to explore some solo projects”, and concern from fans that the split could be extended.
“When we talked about the temporary break, or focusing on solo projects, we really just were trying to be honest with how we feel and what we want to pursue going forward,” J-Hope told the publication.
“I was a little surprised that people took it in a different way than how we expected them to receive or understand that news. I think there was a little bit of loss in translation as we conveyed that message. And definitely we’re not on hiatus. The team is going to remain active. We just learned a lot and we grew together as a team over the last decade.”
J-Hope’s comments echo ones made by his bandmate RM last month, in which the BTS member said the perception that the group were disbanding was caused by “aggressive keywords taken out of context”, adding that “misinterpretations” regarding the band’s future had “left a bitter feeling in my heart”. He emphasised: “This is not the end for us.”
In his own response, J-Hope went on to explain that while the band’s first chapter had closed, another chapter was needed in order for the group to be sustainable.
“Although we grew together and we worked together as a team for the last 10 years, now perhaps it is our time to grow and to pursue what we wanted to do as individuals and focus more on personal growth,” he continued. “But that does not mean we are putting a stop on BTS group projects, of course.”
J-Hope added that the group believed that pursuing individual projects would have a “greater synergistic effect”, making for a “sustainable and healthy way for us to grow as a team” that would see them “working on group projects as well as solo projects.”
He concluded by referencing BTS’ upcoming concert in Busan, South Korea in October, to promote Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo. “This event will be very meaningful to us as well,” he said. “So I just hope that there’s no misunderstanding about where we are going and what kind of directions we’re taking as a team.”
Though J-Hope is the first of BTS’ members to release an album since the group announced they were taking a break, his bandmates have kept relatively busy with their own endeavours. Late last month, Jungkook teamed up with Charlie Puth for a joint single, ‘Left And Right’.
In June, BTS released their first anthology album. Titled ‘Proof’, it collates the likes of debut single ‘No More Dream’, hits like ‘Butter’ and Halsey collaboration ‘Boy With Luv’, and a physical-only disc containing demos and alternate versions.
‘Proof’ also featured new single ‘Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)’, with an animated video arriving shortly after its release. The compilation debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200, marking the group’s sixth chart-topper.
In other J-Hope news, the rapper will be one of the headliners at this year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, marking the first time a South Korean artist has headlined a major music festival in the United States.